Two days ago, Phyllis Diller passed away at the age of 95, which was somewhat overshadowed by the dramatic suicide of Tony Scott. But Diller deserves a lot of recognition. I have selected four clips above that illustrate various aspects of Diller’s life and career. The first one is from The Muppet Show back in the day when Diller was a star people knew; in the clip she performs Scott Joplin’s ragtime music that was popularized in The Sting (1973), with a little help from some of our Muppet friends.
In the second clip, Joan Rivers is interviewed on CNN. This is shortly after Diller’s death and the venerable comedian has only nice things to say about the woman who was a trail-blazer for her career and others. Diller started out as a comedian in the 1950s, appearing on The Jack Paar Show and joining Bob Hope on his Vietnam visits during the war. She also made her mark on Groucho Marx’s You Bet Your Life quiz show. In the third clip, Diller visits The View in 2011 where she shows that she’s not losing her edge, even insulting Joan Rivers in the process.
The fourth clip may be how most people remember Phyllis Diller. Filmed in 1977, she’s a one-liner machine, reminding me of Don Rickles.